While riding a motorcycle can be a liberating and thrilling experience, it also comes with its own set of dangers. As a motorcyclist, just as other drivers have a responsibility to be mindful of you on the road, you have the responsibility of being aware of potential hazards. Motorcycle accidents can be severe if they occur, so you should always ride defensively.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to understand your legal options. Call the San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today at (619) 233-5020 for a free initial consultation.

Slow Down

The single most important thing you can do to prevent an accident on a motorcycle is to slow down. While riding a motorcycle at high rates of speed is fun, it can be extremely dangerous, as road conditions and other vehicles’ movements become harder to predict while you’re moving at higher speeds. Moving with the flow of traffic and paying close attention to your surroundings will help ensure that you avoid reckless drivers and hazards on the road. Although lane splitting is technically legal in California, that does not mean that it is always safe. Only do so at low speeds and when well aware of your surroundings. 

Never Ride Next to Parked Cars

motorcycle accident beside parked carRiding next to parked cars is dangerous for a number of reasons. A pedestrian, bicycle, or other car could come out from between cars, giving you very little time to react. Additionally, someone could open their door as you are riding by, causing severe injuries to both you and the person opening the door. Keeping a safe distance from parked vehicles will ensure that you do not get doored and can anticipate bikes and pedestrians coming out from between cars.

Don’t Drink and Ride

While this should go without saying, becoming inebriated and getting on a motorcycle is never a good idea. In California in 2019, 1066 drivers or motorcyclists died in crashes caused by alcohol-impaired driving. While a motorcycle is lower profile than a car, drinking or using drugs and riding a motorcycle is the same as getting behind the wheel while impaired. If you are going out to drink, get a ride, and don’t drive.

Ensure That Your Motorcycle is in Good Working Order

Making sure that your motorcycle is up to date on maintenance will help prevent any unexpected equipment failures while riding and keep you safer on the road. Tires and brakes are particularly important. Ensure that your tires have sufficient tread and are inflated correctly. Make sure that your brakes are in good working order and are replaced at the appropriate interval so you can quickly come to a stop. Additionally, keeping your chain clean, at the correct tension, and lubed will help keep you in control and keep your motorcycle functioning properly.

Anticipate and Understand Common Road Hazards

morotcycle road hazardsFor motorcyclists, road hazards are many. It is important for motorcyclists to understand these road hazards and know how to react to them if they encounter them on the road. These hazards include:

  •  Wet Surfaces: Wet road surfaces are particularly dangerous immediately after the rain has started, as the rain can mix with residues on the roadway to create a slick surface. Motorcycles have less grip on the road than cars, so extra caution should be taken in these conditions.
  • Roadway Debris: Debris can consist of many different items in the road, including gravel, trash, tree branches, pieces of tires, and other junk.
  • Animals: If an animal runs out in front of you, you will need to slow down and maneuver around it, if conditions allow and it is safe. Ensure that there are no larger vehicles behind you that may not be able to stop as quickly as you can. Lowering speeds will also enable you to better react to hazards, such as animals.
  • Expansion Joints: Also known as bridge joints, these allow concrete to expand and not crack. These gaps in the road can be hazardous to motorcyclists, who need to travel straight over them and perpendicular to them.
  • Uneven Lanes: More common on freeways and in construction zones, uneven lanes can catch on motorcyclists’ wheels.
  • Railroad Crossings: Motorcycle tires are more likely to get stuck on railroad crossings, and if tracks are wet or slippery, they also pose a sliding risk. Motorcyclists should travel straight across or perpendicular to railroad crossings.

Contact Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers Today

Motorcycle accidents can be serious. Keep in mind the above tips and other training you have received as a motorcyclist to help avoid an accident. To arrive a few seconds slower is better than getting injured or worse along the way, and you should always be watching out for negligent road users. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today at (619) 233-5020 for a free initial consultation.

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